Thursday, September 28, 2017

Robert Sheppard: from Petrarch 3 : Petrarch on National Poetry Day

Here’s the final poem from Petrarch 3. That sequence was the beginning of a new adventure in sonnets. One premise of the 14 variations of Petrarch’s sonnet 3 is that they were set on a particular day (Good Friday in Petrarch and Black Friday, VE Day etc. in mine). And I couldn’t resist the dreaded National Poetry Day. (Every day is poetry day.) Over to you, Pet.

You Know

It’s National Poetry Day again. Duffy’s
droning on the radio (again) and you’re on
at the Poetry Society, whither I am headed
to undress your double offbeats with my ears.

But you’ve got a face like a spanked arse;
you’ve got a voice like a spanked arse. But
I clap along with the rest of the clowns relieved
when the prize-giving’s over. You won (again)

with your thumping Great I Am in clumping iambics.
You can’t beat a posy conduit for poesy’s soft con job;
yet neither can you beat off love’s stiff competition.

Heads you win the laurels; tails I lose Laura;
my name is reduced to a rhyme-scheme you use:
the clapped-out alternative to you-know-whose.

See here and here and here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession/project, including how to purchase Petrarch 3 from Crater press in its 'map' edition. Read the 'original' translation (if you see what I mean) and the doggie version here. Then buy it, if you haven't already.

The first review of Petrarch 3 by Alan Baker may be read on Litterbug, here. The second response, by Martin Palmer (blog to the right!) here.

A general piece on my sonnet-writing may be read here. See another recent sonnet in International Times here:

See three of the 'Wyatts' here. And the link
takes you to more, excerpts from Hap:Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch (though the first, introductory, poem ‘Perhaps a Mishap’ is not a version of Wyatt’s versions of Petrarch).

I am currently writing through Charlotte Smith's versions of Petrarch, Sussex poems, in fact.